Earworms 10 September 2012

1: Blood Red Shoes – I Wish I Was Someone Better ~ Zalamanda

Brighton duo make a lot of noise about having made a mistake.

2: Courtney Jaye – I Need Love ~ SweetHomeAlabama

Vagabond pop singer from Pittsburgh via Atlanta, Arizona, Hawaii, and Austin soaked up all the musical sounds of those locations: a little country twang, a touch of exotica, some Tex-Mex etc. This song was heavily promoted on a local radio station (Live 100.5) that lasted about as long as the song did.

3: Andrew Bird – The Trees Were Mistaken – Barbryn

I don’t know what system my mp3 player shuffle uses, but it certainly isn’t random, as out of hundreds of tunes, the same ones keep cropping up. However, I can’t really complain when this is one of its current favourites.

4: Any Trouble – Open Fire ~ Treefrogdemon

I think Any Trouble are an ace band, as you may have noticed. This one’s catchy, has very clever lyrics and the piano on it, especially, is terrific. And Clive Gregson has a great voice…What went wrong, chaps?

5: The Ashes – A Well Known Drag ~ Tincanman

Lead Ashe Shane admits he had Velvet Underground in mind when he wrote this for the New Jersey foursome’s self-made album The Ashes Sings! It has a  Jonathon Richman like playfulness.

6: Ben Webster – Danny Boy ~ GoneForeign

Danny Boy: Everyone’s heard this song whether Irish or not but possibly you’ve never heard it played quite like this. Ben Webster was the lead tenor player in the Duke Ellington orchestra for many years. In the business of making lists about ‘the greatest this or the most influential that’ in musical history Ben is usually rated right up there at the top, often unanimously voted the greatest tenor sax player ever! So I bought the album and this cut became an instant favorite. He loved this tune.


A big Thank You to everyone who contributed worms to this playlist or has sent them in to the wormbank. Please send your juiciest worms plus a line or two per song on how you got hooked to either earworm@tincanland.com or a wormhole near you. Thank you.

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25 thoughts on “Earworms 10 September 2012

  1. Blood Red Shoes: Blimey, have just had to turn this one down. Don’t expect that from a Zalamanda choice! It’s catchy, I’ll give it that. I bet it’s great fun if you’re down in a moshpit. Not really grabbing me over a Monday morning coffee (when I should obviously be doing other, more productive things).

    Courtney Jaye: Sweet little song. Bit too timid to really grab me. Which is the opposite of the reason I gave for Blood Red Shoes not grabbing me. Maybe I’m just not feeling grabbable today. It wouldn’t be the first time.

    Andrew Bird: This one will require a few more listens. Nice insistent groove. I can imagine losing myself in quite a pleasant little hypnotic trance to this. Lovely warm sound too. (Damn, I was supposed to be avoiding ‘lovely’ this week.)

    Any Trouble: Ooh, now this I like a lot. Very catchy indeed. Almost too many hooks for one song. I am particularly like the “oh-oh-oh-oh-oh oh-ohs”. Not too fussed by the guitar solo but it works in the context of the song, so I shan’t quibble. (What d’you mean I just have?!) Great stuff.

    The Ashes: Yeah, fun. Sorry – started scrubbing the oven hob when this came on so got a bit distracted. I can hear the Velvets thing.

    Ben Webster: Hm, obviously virtuosic playing. I get a bit antsy with jazzy interpretations of songs/tunes I know though. I find it frustrating to my ear/brain when the tune is too far/often deviated from. I also think there should be more of an ache to Danny Boy than this – it sounds ever so chilled. All that said, a very pleasant listen. Maybe more of an evening than a morning track. I should be more patient with my earworm listening some time and see how I feel about the lists later in the day!

  2. Right, it’s Monday. New can of worms.
    Blood Red Shoes – Liked the opening, but not so keen on the vocals. Not bad, though.
    Courtney Jaye. Quite liked this, but nothing that Linda Ronstadt wasn’t doing previously. Good, though.
    Andrew Bird. Not my thing, sorry.
    Any Trouble. Yeah. Nice track.
    Ben Webster – I do like this interpretation of “The Londonderry Air” (or, “Derry Air” for those who are trying to ride Ireland from the yoke of British Imperialism). I also recommend Jackie Wilson’s take on this song.

    Well done again, SR.

  3. Zala’s choice – love it, reminds me of the Bravery with a bit of the Strokes thrown in, excellent guitars and girl BVs, a lively start.

    Second one didn’t appeal to me. Apologies.

    Funny that your random player likes Andrew Bird too, I have 2 tracks by him on my iPod, out of several thousand it plays both regularly! Neither of them is this one, I like the strings and wibbly space noises, but I’m still not sure about whether I like his voice much, it’s a bit neutral isn’t it?

    Hadn’t heard of TFD’s choice before. Are they Scottish?

    The Ashes reminded me of the things I don’t like about the VU (heretically I don’t rate Lou Reed very highly), but it’s quite pleasant in a Lemonheadsish way.

    Ben Webster is the best tenor sax player I’ve ever heard by a long way, lovely.

  4. Blood Red Shoes – reminds me of something between Toyah and Lene Lovitch. I like the energy but it’s a bit strident for 9.25 on a quiet Monday evening. Would enjoy more if I was awake.

    Courtney Jayne – pleasant enough but can’t be doing with the twangy guitar.

    Andrew Beat – the disco-type beat irritated me at first but it really grew on me as the sound filled out. In fact I had a glass of wine and it got even better. Favourite so far. Not sure about the whistling, though.

    Any Trouble – good voice, but not keen on the song, sorry.

    The Ashes – odd, but listenable. Perhaps I need more wine …

    Ben Webster – the antidote to Blood Red Shoes, I ‘m shure therrs summore wine somewere … zzz (soft thud as head meets table)

  5. Liked The Ashes, but nothing else particularly grabbed me here – though The Londonderry Air is of course a surpassingly beautiful tune.

    I downloaded the Andrew Bird album of which this is the opening track a couple of years ago but didn’t really get into it till my mp3 player sent me back to it. I do like his voice, and his violin playing. Interesting guy. Someone on The ‘Spill is a fan – GHE maybe?

  6. Blood Red Shoes. I love LOUD. I like the woo ooh ooh’s, the angry guitars and drums. Perfect for a a bit of self-flagellation.

    Courtney Jaye. Yes, it’s the perfect song to go with a couple of Bud Lites and a bowl of chips and salsa while your hanging out enjoying the last of the summer sun.

    Andrew Bird. This is intense. The violin is lovely and the vocals and electronic swirly bits are delightful, but the drum synth… not so sure.

    Any Trouble. Very nice sound and what a lovely voice!

    The Ashes. Way too much competition now, which is a shame. Clever.

    Ben Webster. Stunning performance, and I can’t think of a reason why LA shouldn’t benefit from a jazz treatment, but on balance I prefer something more traditional.

  7. Have posted this twice already and it’s not appearing. hmmm

    If I Wish I Was Someone Better was half the length it would be a classic. What were they thinking stretching it? Dunno who their influences were, but I’ll bet they didn’t play many 4-minute songs. And certainly not when they had nothing else to say.

  8. Ben’s partner in the Ellington orchestra was Johnny Hodges on alto sax, similarly rated as the greatest ever, here’s a small taste.
    ps. Ben joined Ellington in 1935, you don’t get much more traditional than that except for Hodges who joined in 1928..

  9. Nothing that grabs me this week I’m afraid.
    The “modern” tracks sound too modern and the older tracks too old.
    I’m never happy.

  10. Nothing to dislike that much this week. Some nice things, including the Ben Webster – I love his tone – and Any Trouble were fun.

  11. Good playlist again this week . But the absolute standout was the Ben Webster version of Danny Boy. Coming from a family of Irish descent, this song is almost in my blood. And over the years I’ve heard all sorts of versions. But I don’t think I’ve ever heard one that is stripped down to the bone as this one is. Probably the best track I’ve heard this year so far…………

  12. Blood Red Shoes – Noisy sods. Brilliant, loved this. Reminded me of Monty Python’s “My Mistake” song.

    Courtney Jaye – Nice. The volume needed turning up again after the previous track. Bit understated but loved the guitar.

    Andrew Bird – That was a good one. Like the mix of sounds and the rhythm. Rather doleful vocal but that can be a good thing. Hypnotic as has been said. Ivor Cutler on steroids.

    Any Trouble – Weren’t they one of the many “poor man’s Elvis Costello”s? Are they still going? Quite like the song but it does sound like it belongs on “This Year’s Model” or “Armed Forces”. Went on a bit too long for me.

    The Ashes – Yes it is a bit Velvets. A bit of a grower too. Sounded better on the third listen. Nicely low fi.

    Ben Webster – It’s a lovely tune which has suffered a great deal of ill-treatment over the years. I liked this version a lot. Beautiful tone. Would sound best late at night I think.

  13. Oops, rather late actually commenting proper an’ all that.

    Loadsa luvverly tunes. I think my favourite is Any Trouble, although I can’t quite pinpoint exactly which 80s pop-rock thingumajig the track reminds me of. Closely followed by the Courtney Jaye, which only really seems so very laid back in the company it’s keeping. I’m afraid I do miss the words from “Danny Boy”, but the rendition of the tune is very nice; the VU pastiche element of The Ashes track is a little off-putting (not that I’m averse to a bit of Velvets), and I did think that the Andrew Bird song was interesting but a bit long.

  14. Bluepeter; Glad you liked that, I share your heritage and also think this is a standout version. I’ve got a 60min DVD documentary titled Danny Boy which comprises umpteen versions from all over the world and this one’s on it.

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